Crime Commission says drug arrests have reached record highs

ILLEGAL-drug arrests reached record levels in Australia last year, with a report from the Australian Crime Commission showing 101,749 such arrests in 2012-13.

The report, release on Tuesday by Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan, also revealed almost 20 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized in more than 86,000 seizures by authorities during the year.

Record numbers of detections of drugs at border crossing, such as airports, were reported for cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and steroids.

Mr Keenan said the information showed that law enforcers were making "significant in-roads in the fight against illicit drugs", but also showed the growing challenge.

"But there is much more work to be done and this report also provides critical evidence so that decision makers and law enforcement officers can develop further strategies to undermine the business models of organised crime and combat the threat of illicit drugs," he said.

One of the biggest concerns identified was the rising number of seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants, such as ice and meth.

Mr Keenan said the "insidious, devastating drug" affected not just users, but their families and communities as well.

"The Illicit Drugs Data Report is a vital tool to understand and effectively respond to the challenges that ice, and all illicit drugs pose," he said.

He said the government had already committed $88 million to border control efforts to increase inspections and the intensity of examinations at the border.



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